Is this revised homebrew Way of the Force monk subclass balanced compared to the official monk subclasses?

This is a monk to emulate be a force user, as from the Star Wars universe.
There is a spoiler from The Last Jedi film. I thought that the ability to telekinetically affect your environment is too cool a concept to be left to a couple of spells, so I wanted to create a martial class that could utilise these concepts.

The homebrew subclass in this question was finally playtested, so I can come back and try and refine it.

However, it was not an extensive playtest, so assessment from the community is appreciated. Prior to playing, I removed the multiple concentration feature of Force Prowess, leaving just the increased cost for more targets component.

The main issues seen were:

  • the contested checks resulted in both more rolling and more swinginess in whether the ability worked
  • using contested checks instead of saves meant that boss targets couldn’t circumvent the abilities
  • the ability to force something prone from range or to restrain something were both very powerful (especially against flying targets)

It was also unsatisfying to attempt to use an effect, just for it to fail, and my limited resource be wasted. As I was playtesting, I also found myself unwilling to use the Greater Telekinesis feature that lets you move creatures as an attack – maybe this was just due to the situations I was in, but it could just be a quirk of the combats I found myself in.

Additionally, I made some changes to Force Choke, but was unable to test it.

The changes I’ve made off the back of the above issues are changing all of the contested checks to Strength saving throws. This simplifies the text, and lets legendary creatures save from the effects, as well as reduce the amount of rolling. I also switched to using the player’s wisdom modifier instead of proficiency modifier for effects that I wanted to have a limited number of targets; I don’t think this should change too much, however.

I am still worried about the balance and feel of this subclass. It still has the issue that, quite often, a turn can be wasted trying to get a target to succumb to a force effect, and you fail consistently, wasting a lot of resources. Other subclasses get features they can use without resources; currently, this subclass only has Life Sense for that. Additionally, the ability to force something prone, or to restrain a target, from range gives a large incentive to just keep trying to get these powerful effects. The use of Strength saving throws instead of Dexterity saving throws is also a tad worrying; I’m not sure how unbalanced that is, though.

How balanced does this subclass seem in relation to officially published monk subclasses? What ways could it be improved to increase player satisfaction, with regards to resource expenditure, that official subclasses take into account?

Way of the Force

Monks that follow the Way of the Force have learnt how to use their ki to manipulate their surroundings with their mind, tapping into the energy that inhabits all things.


Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can use your ki to telekinetically manipulate the world around you. You gain the mage hand cantrip if you don’t already know it, and it is invisible.

Force Radius. A force radius of 30 ft that is centered on you defines where you can use ki specific force features. Your force radius increases to 60′ at level 11, and increases to 120 ft at level 17.

When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks to spend 1 ki point to achieve one of the following effects against a Large or smaller creature, or an object, in your force radius.

  • Force Shove. The target must make a Strength saving throw. If they fail the save, you can do one of the following: knock the target prone, push the target up to half your Force Radius directly away from you, or pull the target up to half your Force Radius directly towards you. Unattended objects automatically fail this contested check, and if an object is held by a creature the creature makes the check.

  • Force Grab. The target must make a Strength saving throw. If the target fails the saving throw, it is grappled for one minute while you concentrate on the effect (as if concentrating on a spell). The target can use an action to try and break the grapple, repeating the saving throw.
    Unattended objects automatically fail this saving throw, and if an object is held by a creature the creature makes the save. An object held in this way can be moved to a location within your force radius up to half your force radius away from its origin point as an object interaction, and stay aloft in the air at the end of the move if you wish.

Greater Force Connection

Mind Powers. At level 6 your connection to the Force grows. You gain the ability to cast Charm Person (1 ki point) and Suggestion (2 ki points) using Wisdom as your spellcasting ability modifier. You can cast Charm Person at higher levels by spending one ki point for every level above first level you wish to cast it at, to a maximum total number of ki points equal to your wisdom modifier.

Life Sense. You can concentrate for a minute and learn the number of creatures within double your force radius, as well as their locations relative to your own. You do not learn any further information about these creatures, such as creature type or identity. You cannot detect either undead creatures or constructs with this feature.

Greater Telekinesis. Your Telekinesis abilities now work on Huge or smaller creatures and objects, and you can move creatures with Force Grab as well as objects. When moved in this way, you must use an attack to force the creature to make a Strength saving throw. If they fail, they are moved to a location of your choice within your force radius, following the same rules as moving objects with Force Grab. If they succeed, they are not moved.

Force Prowess

At 11th level you can apply the effects of Telekinesis to additional creatures and objects beyond the first by spending one ki point for each additional creature, up to a maximum of your wisdom modifier. When moving objects using Telekinesis, you can move any number of held objects using a single object interaction.
Your Telekinesis abilities now work on Gargantuan or smaller creatures and objects.
Finally, when you attempt to Force Grab a creature, you can increase the number of ki points you spend to 3 ki points and try to hold a creature more fully. Instead of being grappled when you succeed on the contested Force Grab check, a target is restrained, and repeats the contested check at the end of each of their turns. When you target additional creatures with this effect you must spend 3 additional ki points for each additional creature.

Force Mastery

At 17th level your mastery over your ki and the ki of others is legendary.

  • The radius of your life sense increases to 1 mile, and you can tell the creature type of each detected creature.
  • Creatures remain unaware of the effect you have had on their mind when you use Greater Force Connection abilities on them.

In addition to the features above, you can choose to gain one of the following features:

  • Force Choke. When a creature is held and restrained by your Force Grab, you can choose to start choking them if they are within half of your force radius. As an action on your turn, you can choose one creature that is under the effects of your Force Grab, and start choking them. They begin choking, and they become paralyzed for a minute. If they take any damage while paralyzed in this way, this effect ends on them. Additionally, you can use an action on following turns to crush the windpipe of any creature that has started choking in this way. They have to make a Constitution saving throw, or be reduced to 0 hit points. Creatures that don’t need to breathe cannot be reduced to 0 hit points in this way, but can still be paralyzed by this feature. If a creature manages to escape your Force Grab, they are no longer under any of the effects from this feature.

  • Force Lightning. As an action on your turn, you can spend 5 ki points to start spewing lightning at your foes, concentrating on this effect for up to one minute. A beam of lightning flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 120-foot-long line. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 10d6 lightning damage. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage. You can create a new line of lightning as your bonus action on any subsequent turn until your concentration ends, without having to spend further ki points. These lines of lightning vanish at the end of your turn.

  • Force Projection. As an action on your turn, you can cast Mislead by spending 5 ki points. Instead of the duplicate appearing where you are, however, you can choose to make the duplicate appear within 30ft of an ally you are aware of on the same plane of existence as yourself.

Pure Monk Grappler Build

I was thinking about making a pure monk grappler build and I hope that it is possible to do without being too weak for the table.

What I want from the build:

  1. Pure monk build, so no multi-classing (I like challenges in building characters).
  2. The build needs to have good chances for any grappling check (so expertise, good attribute mod and advantage would be great).
  3. Besides multi-classing everything is allowed. The build doesn’t need to be AL-legal.
  4. Well every official release is allowed. No homebrew and no UA.
  5. For attributes, we use point buy.

What I’ve come up with so far:

  • Race: Human

    When you can’t multi-class, you only have the choice between half-elf, half-orc and human to get expertise (with the prodigy feat).

    Because I need 3 different stats, I am actually thinking about taking the basic human, to get +1 in every attribute.

  • Attributes:

    Without race-mod: 13 15 11 9 15 8

    With race-mod: 14 16 12 10 16 9

  • Sub-class: I think the best choices are Open-Hand and Shadow.

    With Shadow I could disable nearly every caster that I want. (Grapple -> Silence).

    With Open-Hand I could use flurry of blows, to knock my grappled enemies prone.

  • ASI’s:

    lvl4: Prodigy

    lvl8: +2 Str

    lvl12:+2 Str

    lvl16:+2 Str

    lvl19:+2 Dex

    If I could get my DM to give me a belt of strength, I could forgo the Str part entirely, but I’m not sure I can convince him.


Is there a better way to make a monk a better grappler?
Can I get advantage on Athletic checks somehow, without party assistance?

Does Monk Unarmored Movement work on snow?

Monk’s Unarmored Movement says that at 9th level

[…] you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on Your Turn without Falling during the move.

Is there anything in the rules or otherwise saying, if this should work over deep snow, same way it would work over liquid water?

I guess moving on quicksand or canvas tent/awning roof would be other similar cases, so anything covering this would help too. They’re not liquid and not vertical, so by the above quoted text alone, the monk would sink/crash/fall.

Is there anything better than "well, thematically it would fit and be so cool and not really unbalancing" to say to the DM when asking them to allow running on snow the same way as on water?

Is there a comprehensive list of every monk bonus feat?

I know there aren’t as many as fighter bonus feats, but I discovered there are more than the ones listed in the PHB (Stunning Fist/Improved Grapple, Combat Reflexes/Reflect Arrows, Improved Disarm/Improved Trip). such as in the PHB2, where you can get Fiery Fist, Ki Blast and Fiery Ki Defense, or in the Eberron campaign guide is also Monastic Training, which you can get at either 1st, 2nd or 6th level.

Is there any way I can look for all of them or do I have to look at every single feat in every single 3.5 book to see if there is any more? Google does not help much in this aspect.

Is there a Monk or Fighter subclass similar to the Black Butler character?

The Black Butler anime series centers around a bodyguard / butler with, shall we say, a demonic flair. I would love to play a similar class in our upcoming Avernus campaign (say a subclass of fighter or monk, or maybe even a hybrid). I’ve found a couple of homebrew options, such as this Way of the Demon Fist monk subclass.

However, I was wondering if there is a subclass in the official source materials that matches what I’m looking. Homebrew is okay (though not preferred) – so if there are well-used homebrew options that you know of, that would be useful as well.

Relevant abilities:

  • Unarmed strike capabilities (a la monks)
  • Perhaps some sort of eldritch or hellfire-type magic ability

Can a Monk “turn off” the Tongue of the Sun and Moon feature?

The Tongue of the Sun and Moon is a Monk feature with the following text:

Starting at 13th level, you learn to touch the ki of other minds so that you understand all spoken languages. Moreover, any creature that can understand a language can understand what you say.

While the ability is useful in social situations, it can occasionally be detrimental. For example, communicating tactics in Common while fighting Duregar (who only speak Dwarvish and Undercommon) is a situation where the Monk would prefer not to be understood.

Is a Monk capable of “turning off” the Tongue of the Sun and Moon class feature?

How high can my monk jump?

My monk has a movement of 50ft and a +4 strength bonus (18 STR). My computation for my maximum jump is start of 10 ft.

I arrive at a high jump of 14 ft + remaining movement which is rounded down of 25 ft + extra movement of dash (step of the wind)=+50ft Max jump = 89 ft?

Can a Way of the Four Elements Monk cast spells in Wild Shape?

A Monk following the Way of the Four Elements can use Elemental Disciplines. Some of them are actually spells:

Some elemental disciplines allow you to cast spells (PHB 80)

However they are not spellcasters, as evident from the multiclassing section, not even like Eldritch Knights or Arcane Tricksters.

The Monk does not have to have material components, but what about somatic components? If I multiclass into Druid, can I cast these spells while in Wild Shape?